Has your pediatrician recommended a medical treatment for your child, and you disagree with it? Or are you open to the idea, but would prefer a second opinion first? In the past, these things would have been considered a parent's prerogative. However, things are different today. Disagreeing with your pediatrician, or even asking for a second opinion, can now get you a visit by Child Protective Services (CPS), or even put you at risk for losing custody to the state. A number of high profile cases of parents losing custody of their children for questioning a pediatrician have been in the news lately, and a number of websites online keep track of hundreds of other cases that don't make the news. The new term for this phenomenon is "medical kidnapping."
If you have been threatened with a loss of custody by CPS if you don't comply with your pediatrician's orders or if you want a second opinion, you need a family lawyer to protect you, your child, and your family. A good lawyer can make sure you all stay together, even when pediatricians and CPS are acting like they are above the law.
If Your Pediatrician Threatens to Call CPS
You might feel intimidated into just going along with whatever your pediatrician says whether you agree with it or not, especially if they threaten you with a call to CPS. Just remember that you have rights as a parent. If you are adamantly opposed to the treatment, want to explore other options, or feel the pediatrician is wrong and want a second opinion, call a family law attorney before you leave the office.
The lawyer will advise you on what to do, and it is advice you should follow. If the lawyer feels you are within your rights, get the lawyer to talk to the pediatrician and try to work out the situation. If things can't be worked out, hire the lawyer and be prepared for a court battle. It's better to have a lawyer at the beginning of such cases, to make sure you have the best chance of always keeping custody of your child through the legal process.
If Your Child Has Already Been Taken By CPS
Contact a family lawyer as soon as CPS leaves with your child. It may be hard to not cause a scene in such situations, but it will work out better for you legally and be less traumatic for your child if you remain cooperative.
In many cases, your lawyer can get your child back for you right away, even if it is under supervision pending court proceedings. If your child has to stay in CPS custody for a while, you will still have a much better chance of regaining custody when the case goes to court than if you didn't have a lawyer.
Every parent should have the right to seek second opinions and even change pediatricians if they don't agree with them without having to worry about losing custody of their child. Adults have this right or themselves, and they are supposed to be presumed competent enough to make these decisions for their children.
If you become a victim of the medical kidnapping industry, getting a family lawyer with experience in working these cases is the best thing you can do. A competent lawyer can mean the difference between your family being reunited and staying apart. Call a family law attorney (click here for more info) if you have any conerns about your pediatrician calling CPS, or if they have already done so.